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NY D83655

November 12, 1998

CLA-2-42:RR:NC:TA:341 D83655


TARIFF NO.: 4202.31.6000; 8214.90.9000

Mr. Michael Mazzarella
Fritz Companies, Inc.
Hood Business Park
500 Rutherford Ave.
Charlestown, MA 02129

RE: The tariff classification and marking of a cigar case and cigar cutters from China.

Dear Mr. Mazzarella:

In your letter dated October 14, 1998, on behalf of Stogees and Stuff, you requested a tariff classification ruling for a cigar case and cigar cutters.

You have submitted three samples, identified as items 170, 168 and 169. They are as follows:

Item 170 is a leather cigar case (also referred to as a "torpedo" case). The item has formed sections specifically designed to hold two cigars. It measures approximately 8 1/4"(L) x 3 1/4"(W). The top is secured by means of a flap with a hook and loop fastener.

You have indicated that the importer would like to mark the cigar case on the rear exterior by using an adhesive label. The label would indicate the name of the manufacturing country (for example "Made in China") and would be attached securely to the case to insure that it would remain on the item until it reaches the ultimate purchaser in the United States.

Items 168 and 169 are twin oval, cigar cutters. Item 168 is made of base metal with rubber covering over the handles and body of the unit. The cutter's guillotine type blades are made of stainless steel. Item 169 is basically the same as item 168, except it will be imported in a neoprene pouch instead of in a pigskin pouch as item 168.

You have indicated that the importer would like to mark the country of origin on just the cutter itself. The word "China" will be die stamped into the stainless steel portion of the blade so as to be visible when the cutter is in its open position. We agree that the submitted sample country of origin marking as described above is acceptable and within compliance with 19 CFR 134.41 of Customs Regulations.

The applicable subheading for Item 170, the cigar case of leather, will be 4202.31.6000, Harmonized Tariff Schedule of the United States (HTS), which provides for articles of a kind normally carried in the pocket or in the handbag, with outer surface of leather, of composition leather, or of patent leather, other. The rate of duty will be 8 percent ad valorem.

The applicable subheading for Items 168 and 169, the cigar cutters, will be 8214.90.9000, HTS, which provides for other articles of cutlery... other. The rate of duty will be 1.5 cents each plus 3.5 percent ad valorem.

The marking statute, section 304, Tariff Act of 1930, as amended (19 U.S.C. 1304), provides that, unless excepted, every article of foreign origin (or its container) imported into the U.S. shall be marked in a conspicuous place as legibly, indelibly and permanently as the nature of the article (or its container) will permit, in such a manner as to indicate to the ultimate purchaser in the U.S. the English name of the country of origin of the article.

As provided in section 134.41(b), Customs Regulations (19 CFR 134.41(b)), the country of origin marking is considered conspicuous if the ultimate purchaser in the U.S. is able to find the marking easily and read it without strain.

With regard to the permanency of a marking, section 134.41(a), Customs Regulations (19 CFR 134.41(a)), provides that as a general rule marking requirements are best met by marking worked into the article at the time of manufacture. For example, it is suggested that the country of origin on metal articles be die sunk, molded in, or etched. However, section 134.44, Customs Regulations (19 CFR 134.44), generally provides that any marking that is sufficiently permanent so that it will remain on the article until it reaches the ultimate purchaser unless deliberately removed is acceptable.

The proposed marking of the imported cigar case, as described above, with the adhesive label on the cigar case, is not as permanently as the article will permit. We suggest that the item be marked in the same size print, location as the "Patent Pending" to read "Made in China" to be permanently marked in satisfaction of the marking requirements of 19 U.S.C. 1304 and 19 CFR Part 134.

This ruling is being issued under the provisions of Part 177 of the Customs Regulations (19 C.F.R. 177).

A copy of the ruling or the control number indicated above should be provided with the entry documents filed at the time this merchandise is imported. If you have any questions regarding the ruling, contact National Import Specialist Kevin Gorman at 212-466-5893.


Robert B. Swierupski

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